Redesigning a Nissan classic.
“When I studied the 2003 Nissan Murano, it looked like a space ship to me,” says Ken Lee, Senior Creative Manager, Nissan Design America. “I was so excited when I saw it that I decided to join Nissan.”
Murano, which has been a leader in its category of mid-sized crossovers, has had a design that consumers love and other automakers covet. So why redesign it? That was the job for Lee, who brought his vision to the 2015 Nissan Murano. As they say, don’t wait for time to change, lead change.
“This is the 3rd generation for Murano and a time to make an impact, a time to recreate the old concept car style and push the reset button,” Lee noted at the recent reveal in Napa, California.
“One customer referred to it as a great work of art… we want our future Muranos to be provocative, premium and optimistic,” added Fred Diaz, Senior Vice President, Nissan Sales & Marketing.
Yes, Nissan is feeling optimistic
Nissan has captured numerous awards over the last year including Interbrand – named one of the world’s most valuable brands for 2014 and 4th in 2014 Best Global Green Report.
Nissan is returning to the Super Bowl after nearly two decades away, featuring ads with the 2015 Nissan Murano and Titan truck. The company’s other sponsorships include NBC’s The Voice, NFL Playoffs and a Heisman Trust partnership.
Another big turn is adding Jeremy Tucker, VP Marketing Communications, to the mix. Tucker recently joined Nissan from Disney Consumer Products.
So, where will the owner of a 2015 Murano vacation?
“My passion is for building big brands,” said Tucker. “This is a great time for a challenge. We are treating the Murano as special. It is the most social car we’ve ever designed.” Tucker noted.
The Murano’s luxury was reflected in the four star Carneros Inn, in Napa, California,where we checked out the new cars. The inn featured an outdoorsy, refined and plush environment. We stayed in cottages replete with fireplace, outdoor garden and patio and heated bathroom floors and dined in the cellars of the Pine Ridge Vineyard.
It appears that the Murano is going for the four star buyer. Now that could be an interesting competition.
The Murano crossover, based on the Altima and Maxima sedan platforms, is in the same category as Ford Edge, Toyota Venza and Hyundai Santa Fe. That said, the Murano has all the attributes of a crossover but drives more like a car.
The exterior is a “killer in the category”
On the outside, the Nissan is all clean lines accented with a panoramic moonroof, 20 inch machine-finished wheels, LED taillights and headlights and dual chrome exhaust.
The front layout is defined “as a killer in the category” by Mike Betts, Technician and Supervisor of Nissan’s Arizona proving grounds and our driving partner for the day. And you can be assured that Betts has put all of Murano’s contenders to the test. Noted.
Upscaling the interior
Buyers get a choice of three interiors: cashmere, charcoal or mocha. The cabin is lined with soft-touch materials and comes with NASA –inspired Zero Gravity seats in the front and rear with a quick heating feature to warm up more sensitive parts of the body quicker.
There’s memory for seats, steering wheel and outside (optional heated) mirrors. The rear cargo area offers a USB connection port along with 39.6 cubic feet cargo with seats up and 69.9 cubic cargo with 2nd row seats down.
The top level Murano SL has a power liftgate, leather appointed seats, Bose audio with nine speakers and dual subwoofers, around view mirror with moving option detection, blind spot warning and rear-cross traffic alert.
What we loved
- Luxurious interior
- Zero Gravity seats with quick heating
- Panoramic moonroof
What you need to know
- Rated at 21 city and 28 hwy, the Murano is 146 pounds lighter than the last generation.
- Takes regular gas
- Along with low resistance tires, aerodynamic roof rails, and other soundproofing alterations, the 2015 Murano proved to be a quiet and refined ride.
- Pricing: Murano S FWD starts at $29,560 FWD and increases to $40,600 for Murano Platinum AWD.
Nissan provided travel and accommodations to test drive the Murano. Opinions expressed are my own.